50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Patrice Vecchione

Age: 63


"Flay self-doubt. You’ll never be as beautiful as you are today. Don’t let anyone else define you. Say no, and often."

Age: 63
Profession: Writer, Artist, Teacher

What is the best thing about being your age?
The sense of freedom, perspective, and self-confidence.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
A troubled childhood—alcoholic mother, rage-aholic father, a date rape when I was young, and just the typical potholes of life that I’ve stumbled into head first. Everything difficult that I’ve lived through has strengthened me and ultimately made me more grateful. I don’t always get to choose what happens but I can decide how to deal with it.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The life I’ve created and the books I write.

What is your most treasured possession?
The onyx ring that belonged to my grandfather that I wear daily.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Walking alone in nature or a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When writing is effortless.
Teaching, particularly young children, and the moment they find their voice. Time with my best beloved.
For me, happiness is less about what I’m doing and more about the feeling. Perfect happiness is a sense of awe, inspiration and authenticity, connection and surprise, of knowing I’m just where I need to be.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
My determined creativity.

What is your greatest fear?
Dying before my husband and cats.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My neck! Oh, dear, vanity shows her ugly head!

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books and beautiful clothing.

What do you most value in your friends?
Deep listening and holding hands.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust yourself, sweetheart; you’re gonna be okay.

What is your motto or favorite quote?
Go ahead, put all your eggs in one gorgeous basket!